At the prompting of fellow blogger Sandra Foyt of Albany Kid, I am taking part in HostelBookers 7 Super Shots. I don’t often follow prompts for my blog posts, but I liked this particular challenge. It gave me the opportunity to dig through my old photos, and highlight a few that I love, yet haven’t really featured on the blog. I hope you enjoy!
1. A photo that takes my breath away
Kendra, Addison, and I took a 5-week road trip across the United States this summer. We stopped at a lot of national parks, and saw a lot of incredible natural scenery. Arches National Park in Utah was no exception. The towering red sandstone formations were breathtaking. We hiked several trails, and after three hours we were exhausted. Carrying Addie in her pack on my back was taking its toll, and as we got to the end of our hike, I leaned back against the rocks and rested my head. As I looked up, I saw two beautiful arches. I took out my camera and snapped the above picture.
2. A photo that makes me laugh or smile
Two years ago Kendra and I took a group of our inner-city students to Europe. None of them had been out of the country before that trip. As we traveled through Spain, France, and Italy, they were perpetually awed by the sights, smells, history, and people of these countries. When we arrived in Pisa, Italy, they were very excited to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I couldn’t help but snap this picture of them having fun creating an optical illusion. Every time I look at it, it brings a smile to my face.
3. A photo that makes me dream
During our road trip last summer, we spent two nights camping in Yellowstone National Park in California. It was incredible. I felt a sense of calm that I had not felt in years. Perhaps it was the vastness of space – I felt like a speck among the giant sequoias. We camped up along Tioga Road in the White Wolf Campground, away from the crowds at Yosemite Valley. The mornings were cool enough to wear sweaters and hats, which is always appealing to my New England self. I look at the photo above, with the green field juxtaposed with the snow-capped mountains, and I can’t help but dream of our short stay, and dream of a time in the future when we can camp there again.
4. A photo that makes me think
In 2009, we traveled to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria with a group of our inner-city students. One of our stops was the Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp in Austria. It was a powerful experience for everyone. Snow gently fell around us as we walked silently through the camp. As we walked to the edge of the granite quarry where thousands of prisoners lost their lives, we passed several memorials. This one in particular struck a chord. I couldn’t help but notice the sheer quantity of small stones piled atop the sculpture – each one representing the memory or prayer of someone who had come before me. When I look at this photo, I remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, and I think, why? I can come up with a thousand psychological reasons why people could engage in such cruelty, but I still can’t truly understand why… how human beings could treat one another so callously, and how we, as a world community, have yet to learn the lessons of the Holocaust as genocide continues to be a reality for so many.
5. A photo that makes my mouth water
Seriously, who doesn’t like meat and cheese? (A vegan I guess…) I snapped this photo while walking through an open-air market in Barcelona, Spain. Even now, while looking at this photo, I get hungry!
6. A photo that tells a story
We passed through Kansas this past summer, veering of Interstate 70 to travel long Route 9 so we could see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. On our way, we came across farmers burning their fields in preparation for a second planting of crops. Kendra pulled to the side of the road so I could take pictures. I was intrigued – I grew up in the inner city and I spent a lot of our time in Kansas slack-jawed as I took in the wide open spaces and rows of corn. It was even more shocking to me to see the fields being burned. At first, I was worried the crops had caught fire. It wasn’t until Kendra explained to me what they were doing that I realized the flames were intentionally set and controlled.
7. A photo that I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)
I love this photo. We stopped at Great Sand Dunes National Park this summer and spent two nights camping there. We woke early so we could hike the dunes before the sun made them too hot to walk upon. I carried Addison in her pack, plodding up the sand dunes barefoot. After about 30 minutes of climbing, I was ready to throw in the towel. We plopped down on a dune, stretched, and drank some water. Sweat poured off my face while the three folks in the picture pranced past our resting spot. At the time, their chipper nature irritated me, but I forgave them after I took this shot. I love the footprints that lead the viewer’s eye through the photograph, and the contrast in color between the dunes and the sky. Inspired by the hikers ahead of us, and the beauty of our surroundings, we pressed on and eventually made it to the top of the high dune.
Part of the challenge is to nominate five other bloggers. Here are five great bloggers whose writing I love to read, and also happen to be fabulous photographers! Check them out!